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INEC Announces New Date For 2023 General Elections

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced new dates for the 2023 general elections in Nigeria.

INEC had earlier announced February 18, 2023 for the presidential election.

Speaking to newsmen in Abuja on Saturday, (today) the National Chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu said, the Presidential and National Assembly elections will now hold on Saturday, February 25, 2023.

While Governorship and state houses of assembly elections will hold on March 11, 2023.

Yakubu’s statement reads thus, “As you are aware, yesterday, Friday 25th February 2022, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria signed the Electoral Bill 2022 into law. This is historic being the fourth time since the restoration of democracy in Nigeria in May 1999 that the Electoral Act was repealed and re-enacted. The 1998 – 1999 elections were administered by transitional decrees until the 2001 Electoral Act was passed into law. Then, the Act was repealed and re-enacted as the Electoral Act 2002 which was in turn repealed and re-enacted in 2006, 2010 and now we have the 2022 Electoral Act.

“You may recall that in 2017, the Commission decided to establish fixed dates for General Elections in Nigeria. This decision was based on our determination to create certainty in the electoral calendar and to enable all stakeholders in the electoral process (the electoral commission, political parties and candidates, security agencies, observers, the media etc.) to prepare adequately for elections. By that decision, Presidential and National Assembly elections shall hold on the third Saturday of the month of February of each General Election year, while Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections shall follow two weeks later.

“Consequently, the 2023 General Election was scheduled to commence on 18th February 2023 with the Presidential and National Assembly elections, followed by the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections on the 4th of March 2023. However, the Commission could not release the detailed Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the General Election, as it normally would, because of the pending enactment of the Electoral Act 2022. The Bill has now been signed into law.

“Therefore, the Electoral Act 2022, together with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), form the legal basis for conducting all elections in Nigeria. In particular, the Electoral Act provides strict timelines for the implementation of electoral activities based on the date of the General Election. One of the significant timelines is the publication of Notice of Election not later than 360 days before the day appointed for holding an election which has now lapsed for the 2023 General Election.

Consequently, the Commission has decided to adjust the dates of the 2023 General Election to ensure compliance with the provisions of the new law. Accordingly, the Presidential and National Assembly elections will now hold on Saturday 25th February 2023 while the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections will hold two weeks later on Saturday 11th March 2023. With this adjustment, the 2023 General Election is now 363 days away.

“Under the law, there are critical timebound activities from the publication of Notice of Election to the Conduct of Polls which form the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for elections. Some of the critical activities and their dates of implementation are as follows:

i. Publication of Notice of Election – Monday 28th February 2022.

ii. Conduct of party primaries, including the resolution of disputes arising from them – Monday 4th April 2022 to Friday 3rd June 2022.

iii. Submission of nomination forms to INEC via the online portal for Presidential and National Assembly election – 9.00am on Friday 10th June 2022 to 6.00pm on Friday 17th June 2022.

iv. Submission of nomination forms to INEC via the online nomination portal for Governorship and State Assembly elections – 9.00am on Friday 1st July 2022 to 6.00pm on Friday 15th July 2022.

v. Commencement of Campaign by political parties for Presidential and National Assembly election – Wednesday 28th September 2022.

vi. Commencement of Campaign by political parties for Governorship and State Assembly elections – Wednesday 12th October 2022.

vii. Last day of campaign by political parties for Presidential and National Assembly elections – midnight on Thursday 23rd February 2023.

viii. Last day of campaign by political parties for Governorship and State Assembly elections – midnight on Thursday 9th March 2023.

“The detailed Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election will be circulated to the media at the end of this briefing. Soft copies will also be uploaded to the Commission’s website and social media platforms immediately. In addition, the Notice of Election will be published in our offices in all the States of the Federation as required by law on Monday 28th February 2022.

“With the coming into force of the Electoral Act 2022, the Commission will work assiduously to conclude and publish new Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections that are consistent with the Act.

“These Regulations and Guidelines as well as Manuals issued by the Commission are all part of the legal regulatory framework for elections. Their timely publication will enable all stakeholders in the electoral process to become conversant with their provisions as they prepare for the 2023 General Election.

“On this note, I wish to remind stakeholders, especially the political parties, of their responsibility to adhere strictly to the timelines in this Timetable and Schedule of Activities, as well as all other timelines established by the Commission. It is necessary that all political parties comply with the extant legal framework, ensure proper organisation and management of party primaries and the nomination of qualified candidates in order to prevent unnecessary litigations and rancour.

“I thank you for attending this conference and God bless”.

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Politics

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, Wins Primary for Second term

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The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has  emerged winner of the state governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress.

In the primary election conducted at the MKO International Stadium, Abeokuta, five other aspirants contested against the governor.

The aspirants include Olubiyi Otegbeye, Mrs Modele Sarafa- Yussuf, Mr Owodunni Opayemi, Remilekun Bakare and Abdukadir Akinlade.

Of the six aspirants, only Abiodun, attended the primary, while agents of all other aspirants, announced their presence and did what was expected of them.

Giving the details of the  election, that was conducted in a peaceful atmosphere,  the Chairman of the Ogun State  APC Primary Election  Committee, Chief Wale Ohu, disclosed that 1,180 delegates, from the 20 local governments, were accredited for the exercise.

Announcing the results, Ohu, said Abiodun scored 1,168 votes, while other aapirants, did not secure any vote, saying that two votes were voided.

Prior to the commencement of the process, Ohu, announced to the delegates and all the leaders of the party that attended the event, that all required agents, were present.

Ohu took time to read out names of the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other officials of the APC officials that were sent from the National Secretariat.

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Judiciary

Court sacks Accord Party Exco, NWC

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A High Court of Federal Capital Teritory, Maitama, on Monday has barred the National Chairman of the Accord Party, Hon. Mohammad Lawal Nalado, from further occupying any position in the party.

This was as the court also sacked all the National Executive Members and National Working Committees, who were said to have contested and spent more than two terms in office and so prevented from re-contesting for the same post/office or remain in the same office in acting capacity after the expiration of their term(s).

In a judgment delivered by Hon. Justice O. A. Adeniyi was consequent upon an Originating Summons brought against the National Executive and National Working Committee of the party by Innocent Igboekwe, Prince Joseph James and Jamilu Abass.

Represented by their Attorney, Chief Wakeel Olawale Liady of The Bridge Chambers, the three party members sought a declaration from the court to prevent the national officers of the party not to hold any office in their hierarchy of the party having been sworn-in twice as prescribed by the constitution of the party.

The plaintiff also asked the Court to declare that the tenure of office of Hon. Mohammad Lawal Nalado’s led National Executive Committee and National Working Committee of the party has expired on the 17th of January 2022 having been elected and sworn in on the 18th day of January, 2018.

The declaration stated inter alia: ‘Having regard to the clear and unambiguous provision of section 223 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), Section 85 (3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and Articles 19 and 23 of the Constitution of the Accord Party,

‘By the reason of the expiration of Hon. Mohammad Lawal Nalado’s led National Executive Committee and National Working Committee of the ACCORD on the 17th day of January, 2022 there has been a vacuum in the administration and running of the 1st Defendant’s political party.

‘By the reason of the expiration of Hon. Mohammad Lawal Nalado’s led National Executive Committee and National Working Committee of the ACCORD on the 17th day of January, 2022, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Defendants and/or any member of their committee cannot function, act and perform as subsisting members of the National Executive Committee and National Working Committee of the 1st Defendant as from 18th day of January, 2022.

‘The deliberate refusal, failure and negligence of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Defendants to call and hold National Convention and meetings of the National Executive Committee and National Working Committee as required by the law is a gross violation of provisions of the 1st Defendant’s Constitution.

‘The deliberate refusal, failure and negligence of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Defendants to call for the annual auditing of the finance of the ACCORD is an infraction of the provision of 28 (1) of the Constitution of ACCORD.

‘By virtue of provision of section 223 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Section 85 (3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), the 2nd Defendant should oblige that the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th Defendants to comply with the extant laws on tenure of office and finance of the ACCORD.’

Granting the plaintiff’s prayers, Justice Adeniyi therefore restrained the Accord Party and the National Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) from allowing the Naldo, Michael Lerama, and Barrister Maxwell Ngbudem alongside other executive and the NEC members, who had contested and held party office for two terms from further contesting and holding office after their second term.

The Court also granted an order in favour of the Plaintiff restraining Accord Party and INEC from according or continuing to accord any recognition to the r any other member of the party, who has served during Hon. Mohammad Lawal Nalado’s led National Executive Members and National Working Committee because their tenure of office had expired on the 17th day of January, 2022.

Justice Adeniyi also directed the Accord Party to hold its National Convention/State Congresses with a view to elect members of the National and State executive Committee with ninety (90) days from the date judgement is delivered in this suit.

 

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Politics

Cheering supporters escort Sen Grace to the APC Nat’l office, as she picks forms for the Adamawa South Senatorial seat

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Grace Bent

 The ongoing Beehive of activities at the All Progressives Congress’, APC, party in Abuja with politicians thronging from across the country picking forms for either president, Senator, or house of representatives seats for the coming 2023 general elections is unprecedented.

Senator Grace Bent from Adamawa Southern Senatorial District was today amidst cheering supporters went to the APC national office and picked her nomination and expression of interests forms vying for the senatorial position of the Southern zone.

Bent who represented the zone from 2007 to 2011 has today told our reporters that a replacement of better representation to give is what she incubated while away from the office.

She vowed to work round the clock to ensure APC gives a good fight for the ousting of the PDP government in Adamawa State.

Grace said that the forms are the thinking of Adamawa people electorates, not her own making as they push her for the National assignment.

“I’m their servant, they just sent me to pick these forms for them, not my interest, it’s their own.

” They had the experience of my stewardship, they want a taste of it again they are anxious to feel my selfless service again”. She Said.

 

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